102 minutes – Drama
Festival release date: September 9, 2005 (TIFF)
Release date: September 16, 2005 (Québec)
Canadian distributor: Christal Films
Directed by Louise Archambault, Familia is an aptly titled drama dealing with, of course, a family. The film explores the method in which value systems are passed from parent to child, while mindful of our desire to evolve and filter out un-desireable messages from the previous parental model. The story follows Michele (Sylvie Moreau), a 30-something aerobics instructor addicted to on-line gambling. When Michele loses her job, she is forced to seek shelter with a childhood friend, Janine (Macha Grenon). Janine’s lifestyle is moderately different, having attained a seemingly comfortable middle-class suburban home. This new living situation puts their children under the same roof. The rule of proximity bonds the two teenage girls together despite their different worlds. Janine grows fearful of Marguerite’s influence on her straight laced daughter, but is assured that this is the lesser of two evils, the real threat is Michele’s safety from her estranged husband, Charles (Vincent Graton). As the friendship between the daughters grows, so too does an unforeseen tension, forcing both generations to reassess their values.